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01/04/13 01/04/13 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> the honorable john boehner from the state of ohio, having received a majority of the votes cast, is duly collected speaker of the house of representatives. >> a new congress is sworn in, the most diverse in the nation's history, but not the most aggressive. who is in and who is out, with john nichols. then a debate on fracking. >> energy self-sufficient and
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can ensure -- >> coming from an area that is tougher from the legacy of industrial pollution, there are all saying, dear governor cuomo, we need you to make sure this is an adequate, comprehensive, and it must be completed before any other step in the process moves forward. >> as new york weighs whether to lift a moratorium on fracking, we will host a debate. all that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the u.s. congress opened its 113th session thursday, swearing in a record number of women and people of color. new members include the only african-american now serving in the senate, tim scott of south carolina, the first black republican senator in more than
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30 years. congress now has a record number of women in both chambers, 81 in the house and 20 in the senate. the house narrowly reelected john boehner as house speaker despite criticism from party conservatives over his handling of the so-called fiscal cliff. the new congress faces another looming showdown over the debt ceiling and possible spending cuts delayed under the fiscal cliff deal. john boehner addressed the debt thursday in his opening speech. >> as speaker, i pledge to listen and to do all i can to help all of you carry out your oath of office that we are all about to take. because in our hearts we know it is wrong to pass this debt onto our kids and grandkids, now we have to be willing, truly willing to make this problem right. >> house speaker john boehner faced a massive backlashes week after initially canceling a vote on relief for superstorm sandy.
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the house is expected to vote on the first round of aid today. gun-control advocates introduced legislation on the first day of the new congress to ban high- capacity ammunition magazines in recent -- used in recent massacres including the one at sandy hook last month. carolyn mccarthy of new york said the assault magazines help put the mass in that shooting and anything we can do to stop their proliferation will save lives in america. she lost her husband in a shooting on the long island rail road. she introduced the ammunition ban with fellow democratic congress member diane degette of colorado. gun control supporters are hoping an apparent shift in attitudes after the sandy hook killing might pave the way for reform. in the latest potential sign of that shift, republican
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congressman peter king of new york questioned ownership of assault weapons during an appearance on msnbc. >> i really do not know why people need assault weapons. i am not a hunter but i understand people who live in rough neighborhoods or in a small business want to maintain a pistol to protect and sells, but an assault weapon, 99% of people with assault weapons are good americans, but to give the potential to a mass murderer who would be able to out-armed police would be able to cast -- to accomplish the worst devastation. >> in yemen, a u.s. drone strike has killed three suspected al qaeda militants, including a local commander. thursday's attack is the fifth to hit the country -- the country over a 10-day period. last month the united states admitted for the first time it carried out a september attack in radda after the yemeni
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government initially tried to claim credit. according to "the washington post," militants in surrounding areas have gained more recruits for their fight against the u.s. backed yemeni government since that attack occurred. in southern iraq, a suicide bomber has killed at least 27 shiites and wounded dozens of others at a bus station. authorities say the bomber drove into the crowded station as pilgrims returned from a religious event. venezuela has released new information on the medical status of president hugo chavez, raising concerns about his health after a recent cancer surgery in cuba. ernesto villegas made remarks thursday. >> commandant a chavez has faced a severe lung infection. it causes breathing in sufficiency ever -- that causes him to comply with severe
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medical treatment. >> a pakistani schoolgirl who has been shot in the head by the taliban has been released from a hospital in britain. malala yousufzai is expected to return to the hospital in the coming weeks for reconstructive surgery to her skull. she was targeted after campaigning over the rights of girls. google has won a major victory in the united states after dodging charges from the ftc over how it arranges search results. the ftc concluded a two-year investigation of google saying the search giant had notd violated antitrust or anti competition statutes. the decision allows google to continue elevating its own service in search results, raising concerns the company could exercise massive power over the internet. google performs 70% of all u.s. search queries. u.s. immigration authorities say 245 people have been arrested in part of a week-long international investigation into child pornography.
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scores of victims were rescued from past or current exploitation, including 110 victims in the u.s. and 13 abroad. many were living with their abusers. the obama administration has unveiled new rules allowing undocumented immigrants to avoid lengthy separations from u.s. family members while applying for legal status. current u.s. policy forces immigrants who entered the country without authorization to return to their native countries for visas, then bars them from re-entering the u.s. for as long as a decade. starting in march, family members who can demonstrate extreme hardship if separated from u.s. family members may be eligible for a waiver allowing them to re-enter the country more quickly. the new policy could potentially spare hundreds of thousands of families from being kept apart. new scientific research has shed further doubt on claims about the environmental benefits of the natural-gas drilling process known as fracking. researchers with the national
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oceanic and atmospheric administration and the university of colorado say methane may be escaping from gas sites at much higher rates than previously thought. data suggests as much as 9% of total methane produced may be leaking. methane is many times more powerful than carbon at contributing to global warming. we will host a debate on fracking later in the broadcast. in texas, opponents of the keystone xl oil pipeline have set up a blockade. protesters say they have shielded two dump platforms that could potentially -- with a series of lifelines that could potentially drop protesters from 56 feet in the air if disturbed. this follows the conclusion of a months-long blockade against the controversial pipeline near the city of winnsboro. the idle no more movement launched by first nations in canada is continuing to draw support amid a hunger strike by
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native chief theresa spence. she is on the 25th day of her strike in a teepee outside ottawa's's parliament where she has been demanding a meeting with prime minister stephen harper. thursday she rejected a proposal by first nations leaders to meet with harper, saying her failing health required action within 72 hours. protests in canada began over a controversial budget bill but have expanded into a mass movement for political transformation, indigenous rights, and environmental justice. hundreds of bangladeshi garment workers, most women, have staged a hunger strike in the capital dhaka to demand safer working additions and better pay. a factory fire at a bangladeshi plant that made goods for wal- mart killed at least 111 workers in november, marking the country's worst industrial accident. the head of the national garment workers federation, amirul haq amin, condemned the retail giant and demanded rights for workers.
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>> they are responsible. we lost 112. unfortunately until today, management -- >> the white house released a statement attached by president obama to the controversial national defense authorization act that disputes the law's restriction on transferring prisoners out of guantanamo. obama signed despite opposing limits on prisoner transfers. he made a similar claim when he signed last year's version of the bill but it still has not delivered on -- but still has not delivered on promises to close guantanamo. "the new york times" is criticizing a decision by time warner cable to stop carrying current tv after it was purchased by al jazeera. in an editorial it called the
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move unfortunate, saying it could block access to an important news source. time warner dropped current tv within hours of its purchase by al jazeera, saying, "we are removing the service as quickly as possible." but the distributor appeared to change course thursday following a wave of criticism saying it would keep an open mind about possibly carrying al jazeera in the future. but president al gore, who owned 20% of current tv, made $100 million off the sale. a california appeals court has overturned the rape conviction of a man who impersonated a sleeping woman's boyfriend, saying a 19th century law only protects married women from such attacks. julio morales was sentenced to three years in prison after allegedly pretending to be a woman's boyfriend and initiating sex with her while she slept. the judge ruled, "has the man committed rape? because of historical anomalies in the law and statutory
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definition, the answer is no, even though if the woman had been married and the one it -- and the man had impersonated her husband, the answer would be yes." the law in question dates back to 1872. data shows 2012 was another historic year for restrictions on reproductive rights. u.s. states enacted the second highest number of anti-choice restrictions in history. last year's 43 abortion restrictions still marked a drop from the record 92 provisions enacted in 2011. in total, states enacted 22 provisions -- 122 provisions related to reproductive health and rights in 2012. not a single one of those laws improved access to abortion, family planning, or comprehensive sex education. pioneering feminist historian gerda lerner has died at the age of 92. she published multiple books over a decades-long academic career. she is credited with having earned recognition for women's
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history as a valid academic pursuit. she discussed her early days at sarah lawrence college where she established the first women's history graduate program in the early 1970's. >> when i proposed to teach a course in women's history, they said, who needs it? we are a woman's college. everything we do is women's history. and i said not at all because you are always telling it from the male point of view, from the mail days -- from the male gaze at women. despite these hundreds of years of discrimination and oblivion, women persisted that they have a story. and we had to win every step of the way. we had to win the right to tell it.
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so rule number one, nobody gave us anything. >> feminist historian gerda lerner died wednesday in madison, wisconsin. she was 92 years old. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. >> i am juan gonzalez. welcome to our listeners and viewers. we begin today's show with the new congress, the most rivers in the nation's history with a record number of women and minority members. the house now has 81 women, 61 of them democrats, while the new senate includes 20. there will be 44 african- americans and the house and one in the senate. the congress includes nine new latino members, making it the largest latino class in history with 28 house seats and three senate seats, two of whom are republican. the 113th congress includes the first openly gay senator, democrat tammy baldwin of
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wisconsin. the first open bisexual was also elected to the house, democrat krysten sinema of arizona. for the first time white men will be a minority among house democrats. the new crop of lawmakers was sworn into office re-election with riddick bowe into office thursday with house speaker john boehner. >> as speaker i will do all i can to help you carry out your oath of office that we are all about to take. because in our hearts we know we cannot pass this debt onto our kids and grandkids. now we have to be willing, truly willing to make this problem -- to solve this problem. >> john nichols is a political writer for the nation, author of "uprising: how wisconsin renewed politics of protest, from madison to wall street." welcome.
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your assessment of the new congress? >> well, as juan suggested, this is a much more diverse congress. notably, it is a much more progressive congress, particularly the senate. the changes that occurred in the senate, even seats that had been held by democrats, moved to the left. it is a congress that has the potential to do some things that were not done in the past. it is also a very vulnerable congress. the important thing to understand is this is a divided congress. the house is minimally controlled by the republicans. there is a lot of chaos in the republican party. the senate is clearly under democratic control, that democratic control has very little meaning without filibuster reform. this is the most important thing we will discuss today. if the democrats want to
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actually exercise power, if they want to be able to negotiate with the republican house in a realistic way, they will have to reform the filibuster rules so they cannot be blocked at every turn. >> john, the senate, which initially said it would move quickly to reform the rules on filibustering, did not do that. what do you see as the prospects over the next few weeks of reforms in the rules of the senate? >> i am very concerned about that delay. they could have made the changes yesterday. they could have done the process right away, and that is historical how it should be done. the senate sets its own rules. they are established on the first day of the session. what harry reid did, the majority leader, was extend the
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first day, a parliamentary maneuver, so the filibuster reform can be dug up to around january 22, january 23. -- can be done up to run january 22, generate 23. they will negotiate -- i fear that they will negotiate a reform that is not real reform. it behind closed door maneuver to continue. i cannot emphasize, if that is the case, it is likely we will continue to see an exceptionally gridlocked congress. >> talk about the close race, the speaker's race being a squeaker yesterday. the tremendous wrath he invoked on both party sides when he did not pass the superstorm sandy relief bill right away. there will be a vote today and a
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vote in a week or so. talk about john boehner's control over his party, where he represents, who are the powers pushing him. >> john boehner has authority because he is weak, not because he is strong. that is the important thing to understand. he was allowed to remain as speaker of an exceptionally divided and contentious republican caucus because they all believed they can push him around. that is very important to understand. he did not come into the speakership in this term with any sort of mandate. quite the opposite. his own caucus has deep divisions between a northeastern block, which is concerned not just about sandy but, as peter king just mentioned this morning, things such as the assault weapons ban. republicans want to work with
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the obama administration on a number of issues. on the other side you have the y faction, which is much larger. gridlock and actual chaos, they believe is their best route to stay in power. what john boehner is doing, he had a near fiasco yesterday. for a few minutes it appeared that the hard right within the caucus, a very extreme caucus, might garner enough votes to prevent him from winning the speakership on the first ballot. that would not have knocked him out as speaker, there would have been a second vote. but he only won the speakership by two votes more than the
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majority in the house, which is quite remarkable. that is an important reminder of how narrowly divided the house of representatives now is. we covered elections horribly in america. we tend to presume that the results that come out election night are the definition. the reality is that the results that come in from states like california and arizona, many republic -- john boehner's majority is smaller and his legitimacy is reduced because the plurality of the voters who cast ballots on november 6 voted for a democratic house of representatives. they only got a republican house because of gerrymandering in the redistricting process and the massive expenditures by karl rove's operation as well as the concentration of democratic votes in the suburban areas. >> john, obviously in this more
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diverse congress, the numbers of african-americans and latinos serving in both the house and said that -- and the senate are really at record levels. this comes at a time when the attention of congress to issues of racial inequity has been lower than in decades. what do you see as the prospects of immigration reform on the table for any kind of substantive change in this area by the new congress? >> you go to the heart of thef matter. is this congress truly representative of the american people? it is beginning to get better in some ways, but we have to be very cautious about presuming that simply having a more diverse congress means we will get better results. clearly the diversity is important, and it is not just racial and ethnic. we also have a great deal more religious diversity. the congress now has two buddhists, a hindu, several
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muslims. it is becoming more diverse in all sorts of various important ways. but that diversity is very much concentrated in the democratic caucuses. if you are to have real progress, you have to look at procedural actions. i would emphasize, first off with the filibuster reform that i mentioned before, that allows the senate to pass bills and effectively negotiate. in the house of representatives, i think president obama has some responsibility. he has to reach out to moderate and moderately conservative responsible republicans to foster the creation of a get things done caucus, if you will, including democrats and some republicans. if he does that on the assault weapons ban and perhaps on immigration reform, he can get some real things done. but it will not happen in the house of representatives. there will have to be some
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pressure from the top, perhaps even the president going on the road in some of these congressional districts of the more moderate republicans. >> first african-american senator, republican from south carolina? >> it is important to remember that we had a very liberal african-american senator from massachusetts elected in 1966, and were brooks. tim scott from south carolina is the first african american senator from the south since reconstruction. he is exceptionally conservative, much like a herman cain. he reinforces much of the tea party message. i do not see him emerging as a distinct figure outside the tea party messrte, but he will be a part of that. also marco rubio from florida, perhaps a more significant player, ted crews from texas --
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ted cruz from texas, could become key players in immigration reform. what you want to look at is, are there places where they will begin to educate and move their caucus from some very reactionary positions to a more moderate one. >> and from wisconsin, the first openly gay senator, tammy baldwin. >> it is quite remarkable. it is significant, the first openly lesbian or gay senator, the first out of the closet gay person elected, as such. she is also a committed progressive, a member of the house, the progressive congressional caucus. she was against the war in iraq.
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bernie sanders will have a real ally there. and and out gay man, who went to canada to marry his partner, is an absolute progressive person, and we are thinking that this diversity with african- americans, latinos, gays and lesbians coming into the congress, many of them are becoming as broad spectrum progressives who are recognized the importance of connecting all sorts of liberation movements. these are folks we will look to to be leaders in the new congress on progressive issues but that have to be raised. >> john nichols, thank you for joining us. author of "uprising: how wisconsin renew the politics of protest, from madison to wall street."
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when we come back, will the new york governor lift a moratorium on fracking? we will have a debate on the controversial practice. stay with us. ♪[music break]
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>> "gonna take us all," by jon fromer, who passed away wednesday at age 66 after a battle with stomach cancer. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. with juan gonzalez. >> we turn now to the controversial natural gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. it injects millions of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals deep in the earth in order to break up shale rock and release natural gas. supporters say it is essential to u.s. energy independence, but opponents warn that hundreds of millions of gallons of chemically treated water used in the process will pollute drinking water supplies and contaminate agricultural fields. these tensions are explored in a new hollywood film called "promised land," starring matt damon and john tres cincy -- and
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john krasinski. it tells the fictional story of an industry insider who visits rural pennsylvania to convince locals to lease their farmland. however, he ends up sympathizing with them who value their land. here's a clip. >> i grew up in a large agricultural committee. tractor pulls, cow tipping. the whole farming town fantasy was just shattered. >> i am happy to announce we will be bringing natural gas to mckinley. >> cannot believe this is right outside the city. it looks like kentucky. >> are you the owner of this place? >> no. >> how come you are doing all the work? >> you signed this lease. >> there is no reason that your town should not have a state of the art high school. >> that was a clip of the trailer from the new film "promised land." the controversial use of fracking behind the natural gas
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boom has met with stiff resistance in new york state, where there has been a moratorium against the process. that moratorium can soon expire. new york governor andrew cuomo has until february 27 to make a decision. he has previously promised not to lift the moratorium until research proves it can be done safely. thousand -- thousands are expected to protest next wednesday at his state of the state address, calling on him to keep the moratorium in place. that is in part because the areas where fracngking would ocr could impact the water supply to millions of people in new york city. now in the analysis by the state health department concludes the much debated drilling technology could be conducted safely. to dive into this firestorm of debate, we host a round-table discussion with two supporters of fracking and two opponents of fracking. here in new york we're joined by kate hudson, the watershed
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program director at river keeper, new york's clean water advocate. and phelim mcaleer, a filmmaker who did the pro fracking documentary called "fracknation." simmons,ned by daniel director of state regulatory affairs at the institute for energy research. and by video stream, mayor matt ryan of binghamton, new york. he is a former professor of the normal lot and an outspoken opponent of fracking. you will be at the state of state address of governor cuomo. how does fracking affect binghamton in upstate new york? >> thank you for having us today. how this affects upstate new york is, we know from the narrative under the surface, which tells us this story of this industry that just came out. we really are in the middle of
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an industry in its infancy, that we are getting -- we are refusing -- myself and 500 elected bipartisan officials experiment part of this in by the industry. there are no epidemiologic studies concerning this industry. we will not allow our water, our air, our people to be exposed to this industry without these kinds of things being in place. right now the health impact almost seems like an afterthought. they are somehow saying that nobody will be exposed to these chemicals or anything to do with the industry will be so clean. it's just a pipe dream. this industry is a dirty industry. it is never done any place in a clean manner. there is no rush to do this. there is no rush to go forward. the price of gas is so low right
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now. the architect of this whole thing has said we should not be drilling any more gas right now. so let's slow down, do it right, and make sure -- the governor has promised us transparency and openness, and there has been absolutely no transparency and openness. we do not know what they are reviewing. there has been no public hearing, and we are telling the governor, he wants to be the head of the most progressive states in the country, then an open national energy policy is important. >> dan simmons, of the institute of energy research, what about the claims of the mayor -- a dirty industry, using the people of new york state as guinea pigs? your response? >> where is the evidence of this? america, our air quality today
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is as clean as it ever has been put on hydraulic fracturing, it has been used in over 60 years, in 1.2 million wells. it is going on across the border in pennsylvania. if the health impacts are as bad as the mayor suggests, they should be readily apparent in pennsylvania, in north dakota, in texas. the reality is that hydraulic fracturing, there is no evidence that is head -- that it has contaminated groundwater. hydraulic fracturing has enabled the united states to produce a lot more energy at home. that means we have very low natural gas prices. that is a great thing because energy makes us all richer. last night my wife and i paid our natural gas bill for the month. it was not super cheap, but it was not that expensive. it allows us to have money to spend on other things we were rather spend money on, rather than having to suffer in energy poverty.
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natural gas has enabled the united states to be the largest producer of natural gas. that is a good thing. so far the environmental track record of hydraulic fracturing has been very good. >> kate sat -- kate hudson of river keeper in new york state. what is the problem? what is the evidence that there is a problem with fracking? >> one of the problems is, who has the responsibility to come up with evidence? every day there is more evidence of the negative, adverse impact of fracking. every day in new york there is more evidence on the table. >> could you explain what is? we should have started there. >> i do not think there is much debate that hydraulic fracturing, which has only been going on for seven or eight years, is an extremely industrial activity. it is thousands of trucks moving onto a clear insight, thousands
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of gallons, millions of gallons of water, thousands of gallons of chemicals, sand, explosives, drilling down a mile or more, then horizontally, then fracturing the shale in which the gas exists. then allowing millions of gallons of water that has been contaminated to come back up. it is not necessarily what happens in the ground that is the biggest source of problems in terms of environmental impact, health impact. it is what happens at the surface. there are spills, releases of noxious fumes. there are trucks, traffic accidents. there is destruction of local roads. i could go on and on. the stories that are from individual families and communities about the impact that this has had are replete. for the last five years we have heard from texas, from colorado, we have heard the
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ozone levels in underpopulated areas of wyoming, and we have heard about the spills and explosions. the contamination of drinking water in pennsylvania. so to say that there is not evidence of a problem, i agree with matt ryan that this is an uncontrolled experiment. the industry is figuring it out as they go along. that is at the expense of communities. >> phelim mcaleer, you have been a critic of the critics, raising alarm about the question in the documentary "gasland," now the new matt damon film. you are producing your own film in support of fracking. >> "fracknation" will come out january 22. i have been studying this for 15
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months, had to study for the documentary. when you have here is a progressive who do not believe in progress. they are worried about this new thing coming to new york, to pennsylvania. the traffic. i found in america that progressives are very conservative. there are lots of stories. we hear stories from individual families, but when they are investigated, rigorous investigation, the evidence fades away. there is no epidemiologic study. the epa has analyzed the water and said it is safe. nge.le do not like chain conservative people have never
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liked change, and i suppose the hudson and their ryan are -- >> mitt iran, we have not heard what you said. -- mayor brian, we have not heard what you said. >> after they brought concerns to the industry, cabot oil, they did testing and they said do not drink your water. they said do not base in this water, do not drink it. there is so much behind the scenes, how much oil and gas and big corporations control it. there is an advertising campaign that has cost hundreds of millions of dollars. to say that this is a clean industry, and it is just not. areas like texas and utah and stuff, we're not talking about that. we are dealing with one of the
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most pristine areas in the country, where clean water willl be dramatically affected. it is not the same animal here. range resources did not know what they were doing in pennsylvania back in 2003, and then they came up with this horizontal drilling, and we are right in the middle of an experiment. the people affected are friends of mine. i have seen their water. i dare you to go and drink that water for any period of time it is so safe. ryan?irmayor i have been on carter wrote, and offered to drink the water. you offer the people clean water and they rejected you. they have always had problems with their water, the gas brought nothing new. the epa said the water is safe. i think you are confusing a
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lawsuit with the evidence. because someone in america says something in a lawsuit does not make it scientific evidence. here is something you may not realize. in america, there are a lot of bogus lawsuits. i know that as a shock. you talk about stories from individual families. that is not scientific evidence. that is not a report. you have based on -- you would base it on statistical analysis of the area. >> the science, let's talk about that. >> there is a war on science and is coming from the progress of left-wing sources because it does not -- >> we have to pay attention to some scientific evidence. kate hudson? >> it established through
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scientific fingerprinting that the methane, certain types of methane does come from the drilling. they were able to identify where it was in pennsylvania that ground water was contaminated because of drilling. i think it is a complete red herring. i think the whole issue of focusing on whether or not fracking is contaminating groundwater is a way of diverting attention from where 90% of the environmental and health problems exist, and that is on the surface. that is because of the poor way, from the perspective of the technology and the way in which the gas companies are conducting their drilling -- poor construction, spills, leaking pits that have waste and fluids
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in them. truck accidents. the fracking fluids in streams and pennsylvania, which was going on before the "new york times" series occurred. also the compression, the transmission lines. we are looking at a 9% greenhouse gas emission rate in the study we saw come out yesterday. these are where the problems are. it is a red herring, which they like to focus on. >> she does not like change, she does not like traffic. i do not like traffic either. you say we need to move away from contaminated water. that does not back up your allegations. you claim for years that -- >> there is plenty of contaminated water. >> no, you said we need to move away from contaminated water. >> whether the methane is
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naturally occurring or not is a way to focus away from where a lot of the problems are. >> we have to take a break, but we will come back to the discussion. we are joined by phelim mcaleer, mayor matt ryan, by dan simmons in washington, d.c., and kate hudson of riverkeeper in new york state. we will be back in a moment. ♪[music break]
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"is your world -- >> "it is your world." this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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we continue our debate on the controversial natural gas drilling process known as fracking. there is a major protest promised next week. our guests are dan simmons in washington, d.c., with the institute for energy research. kate hudson of riverkeeper in new york. binghamton, new york, mayor matt ryan. and phelim mcaleer, who has come out with a new film called "fracknation," which is pro fracking. >> you are far from the heat of exchange in the studio there in washington, d.c. if fracking is so safe, why has the industry been exempted from seven major federal regulations in terms of harm to the environment? why does it need the clean water
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act? why does it need those exemptions? >> the oil and gas industry is regulated by the state, and whether it is the state of pennsylvania, new york, north dakota, colorado, they are a heavily regulated industry. just because the federal government is not doing the regulation does not mean they are not regulated. that is a very important point because the states heavily regulate because they are close to those environmental issues. instead of the regulations being crafted here in washington, where we do not necessarily know the lay of the land in new york as well as the new york regulators, i would prefer for new york to be regulated by new york regulators because they experience the benefits of drilling but also the cost and the down side. i think there regulations will be better attuned. that is why the regulations are
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better by the state and not necessarily all by the federal government. >> let me follow up on that question because it is a key one, especially around the issue of the key water act and the safe drinking act. due to the halliburton new poll, which was pushed through by vice-president and former holabird and ceo dick cheney, corporations were exempted from -- former halliburton ceo dick cheney. corporations were exempted. dan simmons, if it is safe, why should we not know what these chemicals are? >> again, that is federal law. in state laws, in almost all the states where there is fracking, requires some disclosure of the ingredients. the same type of disclosure you get on the bottle of soda, what is in the hydraulic fracturing fluid. that is key.
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even though they may not have to disclose for federal purposes, they still need to disclose for state purposes and to satisfy the state regulators. state regulators, since the beginning of groundwater regulation, state regulators .ave all rais always been in che it has not been the role of the federal government because groundwater is a state issue and they are the ones in charge, they're the ones crafting the legislation -- those regulations. they are state regulations and by and large require disclosure of what is in the fracturing fluid. >> matt ryan? >> the first is, whatever the disclosure laws may or may not be at the state level, there are still huge chunks of information that is not being made available because of business
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practice protections. i have a graphic that if it could be put up right now, indicates the number, the amount of chemicals that would be used in one well next to a home. this is another thing i want to refer to add a point. all of the red containers, those are barrels, the ones not disclosed because of business practice exemptions, not invoked by the industry. the other point i want to make is that it is indisputable that state regulatory departments do not have the staff, they do not have the capacity to keep track of what is going on. new york is a perfect example. there are less than 20 field mineral resources inspectors in new york state through the
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department of environment conservation itself estimated it would cost them millions of dollars to put the staff on board that they need to be able to regulate this activity even fairly adequately. that money has not become available. nobody has asked for it. it is going to come from the taxpayers of new york. >> i would like to ask the mayor of binghamton, matt ryan -- how do you answer your constituents who own land there that say this is an opportunity not only to get in, but for jobs for your area? >> certainly there is no doubt that there are some jobs and some money for people who have land, but the reality is, as elected officials, we have to make sure that the health and safety is primary for our constituents and our future. right now we have had -- one of
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the gentlemen, dan, said we have a much cleaner environment that we did when the environmental movement started back in the late 1960's. that is certainly true, but we have gendere injected of this pollution into the earth. all this stuff is now starting to bubble up all over the country. that is what this industry proposes to do as they make changes because of all of the things we have brought to their attention. they have rejected all the stuff into ohio and drill sites. we are going to create a legacy of toxic pollution that we will have to deal with down the road. we do love modernity, to the filmmaker. we love it, and that is why we want farmers to do what they do best -- grow things, grow by a diesel fuels.
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come up with a plan that makes our farmers more productive, to do the things they love to do and not pollute their property and sell out. many of these farmers, a lot of people have not formed in a long time and they are just cashing in and they are going to leave. i have talked to dozens of people in pennsylvania, prominent citizens who have left the area because of this drilling activity. we do love modernity, and we do need to learn that clean energy technology. global warming, a terrifying new math, a "rolling stone" article last summer said there is five times more carbon in the proven reserves it will create a climate catastrophe. if we go into a way that is a sustainable way of producing energy, we cannot put all our eggs into this basket of
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fracking. we should put more into renewables. the whole world is doing it -- germany is doing it, japan is doing it. they produce 50% of their energy by solar power a couple of weeks ago. it can be done. those are sustainable jobs, and governor cuomo, you're putting tens of millions of dollars into research in our universities for clean energy technology, binghamton university. we will build an incubator, incubate those jobs into our community. that is what we should be doing. we believe in the future of our country. that is what modernity is, and that is where we should go. oil and gas is old technology. we should be moving to new technology. >> phelim mcaleer, your response? >> kate talked about science, mayor ryan talked about science.
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the science isn't there, so now we are quoting the "rolling stone" article. the articles in "the new york times" were attacked by the "new york times" ombudsmen as being not fair. a photograph is not an epidemiological study. we need to look at the science. >> what is the science that you cite this as the fracking is harmless? >> fracking has been going on since i believe 1947. there have been no scientific epidemiologic studies that shows that fracking has harmed human health in any way.
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the water in pennsylvania was the poster child. we need to ask them, do they believe the epa? you called the epa and a local environmental regulator said the water is safe. this was not good enough for the residents of carter road. in a community of 1500 people, 1500 people signed a petition saying our water is fine. 11 people were litigants. those 11 people are the 1%. the people who say the water is fine is the 99%. i come to america and i hear the people refer to the 1%. these are the litigants' of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit with no science to back them up. we should not confuse allegations and lawsuits with scientific evidence. >> i will respond to that. so if there is no science, which is what i'm hearing you say, and
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we have had a commitment from governor cuomo that he will not move forward until he has the science and the facts, then why is he moving forward with this decision on fracking without having the health study completed, without having the environmental review completed? if he does not have the science, he is teaching a -- he is taking a huge gamble. >> we only have 15 seconds. binghamton has a ban on fracking in place. if the governor moves forward, will binghamton still maintain the ban? >> we will pursue any legal things that we have to prevent this industry from coming to us. plus there are 6000 people who have said they will do civil disobedience. i am proud to be part of a group that will not let this happen unless the science -- >> we will have to leave it
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there. thank you, governor matt ryan from binghamton. dan simmons, cape robbed -- kate hudson, and phelim mcaleer, filmmaker.

Democracy Now
LINKTV January 4, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

News/Business. Independent global news hour featuring news headlines, in depth interviews and investigative reports. (CC) (Stereo)


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